Slate Asset Management’s ambitious plan to modernize and intensify the several properties that it owns around the intersection of Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto's Deer Park area is unfolding. While the commercial building owner and manager is spreading its wings into residential development of late including the high-profile proposal a block to the north at One Delisle, the company is upgrading buildings inside and out like at the recently completed renovations of 2 St. Clair East and 2 St Clair West on the northeast and northwest corners at Yonge. On the southwest corner, Slate commissioned street-artist Phlegm to paint a significant mural on the west wall of the Padulo Building—it was completed in August, 2016—and now on the southeast corner, another major public art installation was recently completed at 1 St. Clair East.
Created by Toronto-based street artist birdO, the 5,200 ft² surrealist mural references the surrounding Deer Park neighbourhood with a large image of a deer and other colourful features. Starting on the tower’s second level, the mural's pixelated design incorporates perspective tricks to give a three-dimensional appearance to passersby.
The mural is the first of a new series of large-scale works being partially funded through the StreetARToronto Monumental Program, which partners street artists with property owners to add large-scale art installations to the city. This program includes a mentorship experience requirement, with birdO having engaged in idea exchanges during the mural's development.
“I moved to Toronto when I was 18 years old and the first place I landed was at Yonge and St. Clair," states birdO, which is the alter-ego of visual artist, Jerry Rugg. "It’s a special moment in my career to return to the area and paint the largest mural I’ve ever done. Working with StART and Slate has been a great experience, and I’m thrilled with the opportunity to leave my mark on a neighbourhood that means so much to me.”
“birdO’s contribution fits seamlessly into the community and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” reads a statement issued by Katie Fong, Vice President, Asset Management, Slate Asset Management. “This latest piece fits in with all the other enhancements made to the area over the last few years. Our goal is to make lasting, impactful public-realm improvements that will continue to revive this neighbourhood. This mural is yet another step we’ve taken to inject a dynamic new energy into Yonge and St. Clair.”
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